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Old 03-11-2002, 03:04:54   #201
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:13:20   #202
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Must be the lawyer inside of you showing up.

But maybe those people can be on time, if you'd agree on a specific hour?
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:15:01   #203
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Colon, a couple means two. It has a connotation of indefiniteness but literal meaning is two.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:15:13   #204
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yeah i'm practicing for litigations....lol

on time, i doubt it.... doesnt really matter though... i'm not too upset over it anymore, i guess i need to find something else that bugs me!
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:20:11   #205
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Quote:
Originally posted by GP
Colon, a couple means two. It has a connotation of indefiniteness but literal meaning is two.
From Myriam Webster:

1 a : a man and woman married, engaged, or otherwise paired b : two persons paired together
2 : PAIR, BRACE
3 : something that joins or links two things together: as a : two equal and opposite forces that act along parallel lines b : a pair of substances that in contact with an electrolyte participate in a transfer of electrons which causes an electric current to flow
4 : an indefinite small number : FEW <a couple of days ago>

AFAIK, most people go with the last definition when they say "a couple of hours".
Either how it's a problem of communication, someone saying "a couple" may not realise that the receiver might interpret that as "two".
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:22:04   #206
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darlin
yeah i'm practicing for litigations....lol

on time, i doubt it.... doesnt really matter though... i'm not too upset over it anymore, i guess i need to find something else that bugs me!
Ok, then I won't have to feel guilty about having derailed this topic to my sex-life.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:23:43   #207
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A couple means approximately two.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:24:24   #208
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oh no . dont worry about it! its customary on CG... if your thread gets threadjacked then you know its a winner! LoL
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:27:00   #209
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Yes, of course Darlin... *pats head*
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:28:55   #210
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How's your sex-life anyway Iain?
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:29:29   #211
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The "a small number" is not the first identified meaning. "two" is listed first.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:31:12   #212
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You're just proving the point this is a communication problem.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:36:33   #213
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How's your sex-life anyway Iain?
That depends on how you define "sex-life"...
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:38:47   #214
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The lack of sex in your sex-life doesn't matter in my definition.

George's may be different though.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:41:00   #215
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:52:42   #216
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a couple is 2 to 3 for me unless it is something like cookies in which case it was 2+

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Old 03-11-2002, 04:07:19   #217
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Colon, the definitions are in order of prioirity. Note your definition is last. It is a misuse, which has become familiar but is still incorrect. Trust me.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:11:00   #218
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I think it might have come out of my cookie case (My mom says, "you may have a couple cookies", I define a couple as a number close to, but larger than, two and so take 4 cookies (maybe 5)

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Old 03-11-2002, 04:12:00   #219
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Quote:
Originally posted by GP
Colon, the definitions are in order of prioirity. Note your definition is last. It is a misuse, which has become familiar but is still incorrect. Trust me.

AMEN !!! GP
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:46:57   #220
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Quote:
Originally posted by GP
Colon, the definitions are in order of prioirity. Note your definition is last. It is a misuse, which has become familiar but is still incorrect. Trust me.
Is spoken language, is what a word denotes more important than understood connotations? The word's correctness is irrelevant; what's important is with which meaning the people communicating are most familiar.

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Old 03-11-2002, 04:58:27   #221
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I always thought that using less common connotations denoted more skillful use of the language

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Old 03-11-2002, 04:59:34   #222
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SP, Your argument is a bit tortuous. I've already said that couple has a connotation of "a few" but a meaning of two. Perhaps you are misusing the word "connotation", at least in the context of this discussion.

Last edited by GP; 03-11-2002 at 05:00:48.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:02:20   #223
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Miller part Deux
I always thought that using less common connotations denoted more skillful use of the language

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1. Not if it is a connotation based on progressive misuse of a word.

2. It shows skillfullness if you use it to give something a richer or more precise or nuanced meaning. Not if you use it for confusion.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:05:16   #224
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George, are you denying that the problem between Darlin and the people she mentioned is that they misunderstood each other when the word "a couple" fell?

Whether the others were right or wrong is indeed irrelevant.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:08:27   #225
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Besides, are you trolling or nitpicking? I really don't know, that's a communication problem between us.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:10:02   #226
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To think about it, the problem between the girl I've been talking about is also one of communication. Dito with Jon Miller and his lady. It seems to be the central theme of this topic
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Last edited by Colon; 03-11-2002 at 05:11:22.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:11:27   #227
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I agree that this may very well have been the cause of the misunderstanding. Even for a language Nazi, "couple" has a looseness to it. Especially used in the context of time (couple of hours). (Could also have been that he blew her off.)

I'm just reacting to the comments about usage of "couple". Bottom line, if you use couple to mean "a few", you will NOT appear more nuanced or language-savvy. The reverse will be true.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:13:04   #228
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colon
Besides, are you trolling or nitpicking? I really don't know, that's a communication problem between us.
Nitpicking. (But with an interest to encourage proper usage, and to prevent non-native speakers from getting the wrong info.)
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:13:51   #229
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JM: Only if the less common connotation is more correct in context (or if it's a play on words).

GP: only if connotation doesn't mean implied meaning.

Communication can be said to have been successful when all parties involved understand the communication correctly. If somebody uses the word couple to describe a period of time or something, another person could understand it as the more correct '2', or the less correct (but still correct) 'around 2'. The proper understanding depends on the speaker and not on the dictionary, and if communickees understand the word as it was intended, communication was successful. Otherwise, confusion arises.

Which is why language sucks and we should communicate using numbers and coloured lights on our forheads. That would be cool.

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Old 03-11-2002, 05:15:16   #230
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Please insert that last post of mine in the space at 9:00 pm.

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Whether 'tis nobler in the plane to suffer
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Or to take arms against a sea of bitch-ass motherfuckers
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:16:17   #231
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Penguin

Which is why language sucks and we should communicate using numbers and coloured lights on our forheads. That would be cool.

SP [/B]
you don't?

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Old 03-11-2002, 05:17:50   #232
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I demand that you edit that and remove my spelling error.

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Old 03-11-2002, 05:17:55   #233
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SP, ok.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:25:06   #234
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Quote:
Originally posted by GP
Nitpicking. (But with an interest to encourage proper usage, and to prevent non-native speakers from getting the wrong info.)
It's not a translation confusion in my case. There's a straight translation into Dutch of the term "a couple" and it has the exact same definitions. Dutchspeakers also mostly say "a couple" when they mean an indefinite small number.

I'm a pragmatist, I really don't care that the indefinite small number is 4th on the list of definitions in the dictionary and I do care that it's the commonly used definition.

Last edited by Colon; 03-11-2002 at 05:26:10.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:26:52   #235
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It is not the most common definition. The first one is the most common.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:29:33   #236
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Quote:
1 a : a man and woman married, engaged, or otherwise paired b : two persons paired together
Tough definition to use when you're talking about figures.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:34:10   #237
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The indefinite definition is second (after the definite one) in my dictionary, the Canadian Oxford Paperback (2000).

It goes something like:
n.
1. a. two, b. about two
2. a. two romantically involved people, b. a pair in dancing
v.
1. tr. fasten; connect
2. tr. associate in thought
3. tr. & intr. bring or come together
4. intr. copulate

only with more words and parentheses and things that dictionaries have.

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Old 03-11-2002, 05:34:25   #238
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Colon, the definitions are in priority order. The second one is "pair". The fourth one is the "several" definition. (If we have the same dictionary.)

I say again, if you use "couple" to mean "few", you will be perceived as not having good grammar by people who are sticklers. As SP and I noted, this is quite different from using a connotation in a skillful, special manner.

Last edited by GP; 03-11-2002 at 05:39:08.
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Old 03-11-2002, 08:49:01   #239
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Oh Noisy - Time to settle a point of grammar.
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Old 03-11-2002, 16:54:20   #240
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George, if anyone is going to think less of many because I use the term "a couple" like most do, that person can piss off as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 03-11-2002, 16:59:11   #241
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Couple=2 Few=3
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Old 03-11-2002, 17:40:35   #242
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George,

Quote:
Nitpicking. (But with an interest to encourage proper usage, and to prevent non-native speakers from getting the wrong info.)
In which case, I trust you'll be screaming from the rooftops ensuring that your fellow Americans give up on their extremely irritating misuse of the word "liberal".
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Old 03-11-2002, 21:55:00   #243
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colon
George, if anyone is going to think less of many because I use the term "a couple" like most do, that person can piss off as far as I'm concerned.
No problem. As long as you don't lead others astray.
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Old 03-11-2002, 22:00:44   #244
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They aren't going to be led astray, they already are.
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Old 03-11-2002, 22:03:22   #245
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I've posted in this thread a couple of times already...
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Old 03-11-2002, 22:07:35   #246
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Please give a precise number, you're confusing people here.
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Old 04-11-2002, 00:47:06   #247
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Not until George answers my point about the word "liberal".
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:00:36   #248
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Oww blackmailing are we?
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:01:20   #249
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No, just being bitchy.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:02:11   #250
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No problem. As long as you don't lead others astray.
Is that a sentence fragment?
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